Palo Alto site for undergraduate nursing education
With the nod of approval from the Board of Nurse Examiners for the state of Texas and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, this fall the School of Nursing will conduct nursing education classes on the campus of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) System Center-Palo Alto, on the south side of San Antonio.
"TAMUK received approval this past year to establish an upper-division (junior and senior courses) complement to the lower-division offerings of Palo Alto College, part of the Alamo Community College District. The new TAMUK System Center will begin course offerings in a variety of majors, such as business and education," said Dr. Rosario Torres Raines, the centerís executive director.
The high demand for nursing offerings in San Antonio led TAMUK to seek a partner for this educational opportunity. The School of Nursing became the lead school in the search and will begin offering courses toward the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Generic Process (initial nurse preparation) this fall at the TAMUK campus. The degree will be granted by the Health Science Center.
"The school is pleased to increase the opportunities to make nursing education more accessible and to respond to the ever-increasing need for more baccalaureate-prepared nurses. This educational partnership allows the school to look at exciting new models for education delivery," said Dr. Brenda Jackson, interim associate dean for undergraduate programs at the school and coordinator of the effort.
The agreement was signed in a June 19 ceremony by Dr. John P. Howe, III, president, and Marc Cisneros, president of Texas A&M-Kingsville.
"That such a comprehensive memoranda of understanding satisfies all of the partners and that it was formulated and finalized in less than three months is a tribute to a renewed team spirit that is committed to keeping our studentsí academic success foremost in mind," said Dr. Howe.
For many years, many hospital administrators in South Texas, especially along the Texas-Mexico border, have lamented the severe nursing shortage that peaks during winter months when Canadians and other visitors from colder climates flock there to become seasonal residents. Hospital administrators in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, especially, have routinely contracted with nurses from the Philippines and elsewhere overseas to meet health care demands in our state. Those nursing jobs and many other yearlong health care positions should be filled by South Texas citizens.
"Moving from community college to a four-year degree and then perhaps to a masterís or doctoral degree should be a nearly seamless pathway for every serious student in South Texas," Dr. Howe said.